You know, the worthless ones who pay no taxes, the ones who want nothing more than to collect those super-generous welfare checks so they can live the easy life and not have to actually go to work.
Remember the wise words of Governor/Corporate Executive Mitt Romney, who lamented that 47% of us fit neatly into that category. Then, more recently, Speaker John Boehner said pretty much the same thing, accidentally leaking his true opinion about half of us: we’re all too lazy to work, and that’s the only reason nobody is making a living these days. Also, millions are unemployed because they perversely refuse to upgrade their skills, and are stuck in an obsolete era that will not come again.
So according to these folks, and apparently a whole bunch of others of that faith, a hundred-fifty-million Americans are too lazy to get a job. My goodness! That’s well more than the entire population of Russia. Russia! How did we get so lazy all of a sudden?
And all this laziness is showing up in our schools too. Our test scores are in the toilet compared to other countries, and they have been swirling down-down-down. More and more high schoolers are dropping out. Fewer and fewer people are going to college. The teachers are getting worse and worse, with more and more scoring declines on student standardized tests.
Everything is going down the tubes. Everything. Woe is us.
Except EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE “TRUTHS” IS COMPLETELY WRONG, and we can prove it. Numerous people have proved it. In every case, these falsehoods are repeatedly repeated again again without the first effort to determine whether they are actually true—and they are not.
Start with the lazy unemployed. Isn’t it amazing that before 2007 nobody recognized this serious problem. Suddenly, by 2009, nearly half of the country simply decided they were tired of working. They lost their house and car, along with their health insurance and retirement savings, and decided they prefer to live on those super generous welfare benefits they don’t deserve, and that’s where they all are today. Something big must have happened about then to make them so lazy. I wonder what it was.
Every single “truth” about lazy Americans is false.
The only problem with this scenario is that those supposedly generous benefits, aren’t, and they came to an end, and after submitting hundreds of job applications, millions of formerly productive workers have no income at all. Some of them are among the increasing numbers living on the street.
But that’s not what those who make these claims of laziness actually mean. What they mean is that the entire population of African-Americans is lazy and criminal by nature. They are the entire problem. How do we know they believe that? Because we have multiple instances of recorded speeches and writings that flat-out say so, and enough recorded slips among leading politicians to confirm it. To them it is clear: almost the entire unemployment problem is due to lazy blacks, and nothing else.
But there is a slight problem with this belief, other than the fact that it’s completely wrong. The slight problem is that the entire population of African-Americans comes to about 50-million. If every single African-American were unemployed, including children, that still leaves two-thirds of the worthless unexplained.
We know they believe
all African-Americans are lazy
because they flat-out say so.
Oh, there’s another little problem. If half of us are too lazy to work hard enough to pay taxes, why are there only 11-million actually unemployed? There should be nearly 160-million? Could part of it be that they can’t live on their crappy pay?
As for obsolete skills in the workforce, that claim is wrong too. As Paul Krugman has noted several times—he notes everything several times, because almost no one pays much attention to mere facts if they already believe something else—there simply is no evidence that our workforce’s skills are obsolete. In fact, the places where labor shortages are found involve basic skilled labor, not advanced IT skills and the like. But like other zombie beliefs, they stagger on, oblivious to everything around them.
As for the mess the schools are in, everyone should read Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error, which exposes the whole string of falsehoods that threatens to destroy our crown jewel, the system of free public education that has made us the greatest world power. And what she shows is that pretty much every assumption about the weakness of our students, teachers, and school systems is plain wrong.
The system of free public education
is one of our crowning glories.
Our test scores all show continual improvement over decades. The percentage of high schoolers who graduate has shown continuous increase; dropouts are decreasing. The percentage going to college has been up and up, and the number graduating too. In short, all the stats are positive. How in hell could we not know this, and believe the opposite?
There is not a thing wrong with our school system. Every single belief in our disintegrating system and underperformance is simply wrong, false, not true. Most of our social problems are due entirely to poverty and inequality, and are reflected in the schools. If we were at all concerned about equal opportunity, we would adopt Living Wage laws like the civilized countries have, and quit arguing about the paltry minimum wage that nobody can live on, and most school problems would fix themselves.
What’s wrong with half of Americans?
Not a thing.
The problem lies with the other half.
But that’s not the goal. We are concentrating not on the real problems of poverty as reflected in our schools, but on new ways to privatize public education for profit. Is there any other reason that so many corporations would want to get a piece of the action with charter schools and the like? Is there any reason for school officials to have salaries that approach those of bankers? Of course not. The only purpose of capitalism is profit.
The only profit to be had by privatizing public education must come at the expense of teachers, students, and the poor, because that’s the only money there is. If there were no profit to be had in privatizing education, there would be no capitalists looking at privatizing education in order to profit. Obviously, extracting money from the underfunded schools is the exact opposite of what we need.
What’s wrong with this half of Americans? Not a thing, other that they can’t earn enough money. The problem lies entirely with the false and self-serving beliefs of the other half, the half that needs someone to blame for what, in the end, are problems capitalism has created.